Satya Nadella is an Indian computer scientist and corporate executive that steadily rose through the ranks to be the current CEO of Microsoft. When he took office, Microsoft had ceded global dominance to Apple, Google, and Facebook (see Mark Zuckerberg’s Bio).
Not even the company’s revenues were spared as they were steadily dwindling due to ceding more market share to their biggest competitors.
A few years into office, however, Nadella swiftly turned the company’s fortunes around and has since positioned it for even greater success (check out the technological waves Elon Musk has made).
For instance, he has steered the company’s cloud computing platform to edge out Google in revenues, outshine Netflix in the number of subscribers and raise its net value to close to a trillion-dollar mark.
His tenure has been marked by massive acquisitions and change of tact that has gradually seen Microsoft’s market share price gain on competitors. Here is Nadella’s success story and how he is steering Microsoft to its former glory. But first, Nadella’s biofacts;
Satya Nadella Bio Facts
Full Name: Satya Narayana Nadella
Birth Date: August 19, 1967
Birth Place: Hyderabad, Southern India
Nick Name: Undisclosed
Children: Has three children; Son (Zain), Two Daughters
Partner /Spouse: Anupama (married in 1992)
Profession: Internet Entrepreneur, Businessman, Investor
Salary: 42 million per annum.
Net Worth: $320 million, CNBC
Companies Associated With Microsoft, Seattle Sounders FC
Satya Nadella Key Facts
- Released Microsoft Office for Apple’s iPad
- Used Linux operating system on the Azure cloud
- Skipped Windows 9 and released Windows 10
- Bought Mojang (the company that created Minecraft)
- Released iPhone and Android apps like Microsoft Outlook
- Introduced the Microsoft Surface Book, the company’s first laptop
Satya Nadella Birthplace and Early Life
Satya Nadella was born to Bukkapuram Nadella Yugandhar and Prabhavati on August 19, 1967, in Hyderabad (presently called Telangana), Southern India. His father, Yugandhar, was an Indian administrative officer, while his mother, Prabhavati, was a Sanskrit lecturer.
Nadella attended Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet. His desire to build and invent saw him join the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Unfortunately, he never made it from IIT as he failed his exams.
However, he got admission into Birla Institute of Technology in Mesra and Manipal Institute of Technology (currently under Mangalore University), from where he graduated with a Bachelor’s in electrical engineering in 1988.
There being no real computer course in India at the time, Nadella traveled to the U.S. on an F1 student Visa after being accepted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to pursue an M.S. in Computer Science. He graduated in 1990 and applied for an H-1B Visa that allowed him to work as a highly-skilled worker in the U.S (skip to Mark Cuban’s bio).
In 1993, he got a green card that could grant him permanent residency in the U.S. But he would risk it for love by requesting it be reverted to H-1B status in 1994, a year after getting the green card, and 4-years after the H-1B was introduced for highly skilled workers. All this was to have his wife join him in the U.S.
Years later, he would comment about this romantic sacrifice in his autobiography, “Anu was my priority, and that made my decision a simple one.”
Shortly after joining Microsoft, he enrolled in the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, from where he graduated with an M.Sc. in Business Administration.
Satya Nadella Business Success
Soon after graduation with a master’s in Computer Science, Nadella worked at Sun Microsystems, Inc. before he was lured into working for Microsoft in 1992.
Windows NT program
When he was joining in 1992, Nadella was only 1 of 30 Indians working in Microsoft (here is what Liz Claiborne did). His first stop was at the Windows NT program and the ill-fated interactive T.V. product.
Together with his teammates, Nadella worked on the development of Windows NT that turned out to be the landmark operating system. The operating system launched as a functional and fully-fledged 32-bit operating system.
At around this time, Nadella had to commute from Microsoft’s campus in Radington, Washington, to Chicago University to complete his Master’s in Business Administration every other weekend.
In 1999, Nadella landed his first executive role with Microsoft as Vice president of Microsoft bCentral. During his role as V.P., he was able to steer the division to launch a service targeting small businesses that wanted to establish an online presence.
The product dubbed “Business Web Services” allowed the non-technical business owners to establish an online presence for a $24.95 renewable monthly fee. In the product, business owners, through a simple integrated sign-up, could;
- Register their business name
- Build a customizable eCommerce platform
- Create a powerful business email
- Access online marketing tools.
Within a year after its launch, the product had surpassed the 1 million registered users mark.
Microsoft Business Solutions
In 2001, Nadella got another promotion, working as the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Business Solutions. The Division was purely formed to compete with Salesforce, which had developed a cloud-based CRM system.
Microsoft pursued different mergers and acquisitions to form the division, which could later be rebranded as Dynamics.
While working as V.P., his division launched RFID tracking technology, which he could later explain as being pragmatic, and would help small and medium businesses reap the full benefits of RFID and at a lower ownership cost.
Head of Microsoft Business Solutions
After a year-long search, Nadella settled in as the next president of Microsoft Business solutions to replace Doug Burgum, starting in 2007.
In a comment by then-president of Business Solutions, Jeff Raikes, he said, “after going through numerous applications of internal and external candidates, we have concluded that Nadella is the best replacement for Doug Burgum.”
Asked what he had in store by then for his division, Nadella noted that Dynamics ERM and CRM were profitable, and he intended to see them catapult to be even more profitable.
Search And Ad Platform Group
Barely 6-months into the new job as head of Microsoft Business Solutions, Nadella was promoted to head a newly formed advertising and revenue-raising division, Search and Ad Platform Group. The group, formerly two separate divisions, combined the search and advertising division.
In his new capacity, Nadella reported to the President of Platform and Services Division, Kevin Johnson. As the head, Nadella effectively became in charge of early versions of Microsoft Office, Xbox Live gaming services, and Bing search engine.
He once again got promoted to senior vice president of research and development for Microsoft’s Online Service Division. In his new role, he was responsible for bringing Microsoft’s dream of establishing leadership in search, portal, and advertising systems; this was through overseeing the successful development of cloud infrastructure.
President of Server and Tools Division
Nadella got another surprise promotion in 2011 after the company CEO publicly ousted Bob Muglia, who served with Microsoft for 23 years. His promotion came when his predecessor had successfully led the division to post growth in revenues that accounted for 24% of the overall revenue in 2011.
The Group CEO could later email employees affirming Nadella’s appointment and explaining why he is the best man for the job.
“He has strong collaboration skills, is decisive in both decision-making and delegating, and has strong customer insights, engineering, and business expertise. He also knows how to structure organizations for outstanding performance.”
True to the CEO’s projections, Nadella led the Server and Tools unit to rake more revenues. For instance, under his leadership, the company increased its revenue from $16.6 billion in 2012 to $20.3 billion in 2013.
The division had control of Microsoft’s cash-cows products, including SQL Server Database and Windows Server. Under the division was also the CEO’s largest gamble, Microsoft Azure cloud platform, rumored to have been the cause of the sour relationship between the CEO and former group’s head Bob Muglia.
Nadella was appointed CEO of Microsoft after the embattled founder and CEO Ballmer took the heat and opted to step down. His appointment was with the blessings of founders Ballmer and Bill gates.
As an enticement, Nadella got an $84 million first-year compensation package. The reigns he got from the former founder and CEO included.
- Overall dwindling revenues
- A disastrous Windows 8
- A search that left not a dent in Google’s dominance.
- Low market uptake of the company’s windows phone.
Working to Compliment rather than Compete
Under his tenure, Microsoft has embraced open source app development, including its pioneer launch of office for iPad. This was followed by an Office for Android phones and tablets. It also embraced its arch-rival Linux on its Microsoft Azure cloud.
These moves by Nadella have been seen as well-hatched schemes for the once giant company to regain its relevance in the developer community, which it had earlier ceded to the likes of Google, Facebook, and Apple (view Apple founder Steve Jobs’ bio).
An attempt to revive its former pursuit to provide a search engine through Bing saw it release Edge browser that debuted in Windows 10. A browser version was also made available for Android and iOS, including an Android app launcher from Microsoft.
The company also went on, in 2016, to acquire a popular virtual keyboard app, SwiftKey, compatible with Android and iOS running devices. Additionally, versions of Microsoft’s classic card games for Windows were also available for iOS and Android.
In his tenure as CEO, Nadella led Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn in 2016 at the cost of $26.2 billion. The acquisition saw Microsoft bag millions of devoted users, making it grow its relevance and inch closer to regaining its once-dominant position as the ultimate tech powerhouse.
Beating Salesforce to acquire GitHub
The deal that saw Microsoft acquire $7.5 billion worth of stock will see the company access a larger community of developers. It will also avail Microsoft’s developer tools to this popular open-source community.
Microsoft also bought Mojang and Minecraft in 2014, a deal that saw Microsoft pay $2.5 billion. This was approximately 20 times the profit the company had made in sales in 2013. Through the acquisition, Microsoft has been able to take advantage of new and emerging revenue technologies.
The game has been lauded by game developers, including Facebook’s game development legend John Carmack, as the most important virtual reality game in the modern-day.
Microsoft Surface Book
During his reign as CEO, Microsoft released its first laptop, the Microsoft Surface Book, meant to rival the MacBook pro. The laptop that had initially been marketed as a laptop is a hybrid device released alongside Windows 10 Device event.
Acquisition of Studios
As of writing this article, Nadella had spent over $10 billion in the acquisition of development studios that have been behind the development of the most successful video games. Among the many acquisitions, he made include Obsidian, Double Fine, and ZeniMax, which cost Microsoft $7.5 billion.
Satya Nadella Business Failures
Though the deal was initiated by his former boss, Ballmer, it materialized under his tenure and cost shareholders a questionable $7.5 billion in July 2015. This followed a write-down of the $7.5 billion and massive layoffs.
Failure to close on Tiktok
Microsoft could not close a deal with TikTok after the app’s parent company declined to cede control of the app’s U.S. operations, data, algorithms, and source code.
Microsoft had placed a bid of $20 to $30 billion but was turned down in favor of Walmart and Oracle, whose combined stake is worth $12 billion.
Satya Nadella’s Family
Nadella married Anupama, with whom they have three kids, a son, and two daughters. Their son, Zain, was born in 1996 and is a legally blind quadriplegic with cerebral palsy.
The two met in Manipal, present-day Mangalore University, where Anupama, a junior by then, was pursuing a bachelor’s in Architecture. She is the daughter of his father’s IAS batchmate.
Satya Nadella Net Worth and Income
Based on Microsoft 2020 annual filing, Nadella receives a basic salary of $2.5 million, $10.99 million in cash bonuses, and $30.72 million in stock awards. However, the cash bonuses are subject to review by the company’s board, whose main criterion is the CEO’s performance in any given fiscal year.
According to Wallmine, a financial company that monitors the purchase and sale of stocks, Nadella is worth over $726 million. CNBC, however, estimates his net worth at not more than $320 million, most of which is held in Microsoft stocks.
Satya Nadella’s Real Estate Holdings
Home in Clyde Hill, Seattle
The Porsche home that Nadella once owned is within Clyde Hill, Seattle, Washington. The home was built in 1963 and was acquired by Nadella in August of 2000. Over the years, Nadella gave it progressive facelifts to get it to its current contemporary style.
Though initially listed for $3.488 million, Nadella sold less than the advertised price but double what he bought it for. After the sale, he moved to Bellevue, a suburb favored by some tech executives and high-profile celebrities and businessmen.
The soaring property prices within the area are due to its proximity to Redmond, home to Microsoft, Amazon (proceed to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Bio), Google, and Facebook.
Satya Nadella Youtube Videos
In the 50 minutes long interview by Tera Hill, Nadella talks to Stanford Graduate School of Business students on how they should view work.
He asks them to work towards cultivating a sense of culture and purpose within the workplace. To build lasting relationships with workmates. And through this, work becomes more fulfilling instead of being transactional.
He also talks of how he was able to transform Microsoft into a more profitable enterprise whose market share price almost triples after taking charge. His advice is short and precise, “Don’t wait for your next job to do your best work. Think about every job you get as the most important job.”.
In the 10 minutes long interview with Nilay Patel, Nadella outlines Microsoft’s vision in the near future.
He talks of the tons of hardware the company had just released and how, through Microsoft, he retaliates with Microsoft’s mission, to empower every person, in every organization, on the planet, to achieve more.
Satya Nadella’s Quotes
“Our industry does not respect tradition. It only respects innovation.”
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
“The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.”
“Success can cause people to unlearn the habits that made them successful in the first place.”
“A leader must see the external opportunities and the internal capability and culture—and all of the connections among them—and respond to them before they become obvious parts of the conventional wisdom.”
“I’m also grounded in our challenges, in fact, that’s the adventure which creates the competitive zeal in me to do great work.”
“Our ambitions are bold and so must be our desire to change and evolve our culture.”
“The number one thing that you have to do as a leader: to bolster the confidence of the people you lead.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What Religion is Satya Nadella?
Answer: Nadella was born into a Hindu-speaking family in Hyderabad, called Telangana presently, in southern India. He traveled to the U.S. for studies and has stayed there since then.
Question: What is the salary of Satya Nadella in Indian rupees?
Answer: Nadella earns $42 million per annum, which is equivalent to 3125 Indian rupees at the current market rates.
Question: Is Satya Nadella an Indian?
Answer: Nadella was born in India but moved to the U.S. to study on an F1 student Visa. After his study, he got an H1-B visa to work as a highly specialized worker in 1990, then got a green card in 1992 that granted him permanent U.S. residence.